By Foday Moriba Conteh
As part of their mission to facilitate the development of emergency first responder programs geared towards alleviating the plight of victims of the Wellington Tanker Fire disaster, the world largest humanitarian network, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) has on Tuesday 17th January 2022 through AfriMoney commences a cash transfer of One Million Six Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Leone (1,675,000) each to Two Hundred and Twenty Four (224) Wellington Tanker Fire disaster victims. The event took place at Choithram Supermarket Compound in Wellington, East End of Freetown.
Addressing the beneficiaries, the Director of Resource Mobilization and Communications at Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Yusuf Kamara noted that the Sierra Leone Red Cross cannot replace lost lives or lost properties but rather they are doing such as part of alleviating the plights of the victims, adding that one of the focus of the Government is to ensure that even though that unfortunate has occurred victims should not continue to suffer and it in that regard that the Government called all humanitarian organizations, including the Sierra Leone Red Cross, in order for them to join the Government to help in supporting to alleviate the sufferings of the victims.
He maintained that as an organization that is always ready to complement the efforts of Government they responded to that call by providing the sum of One Million Six Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand Leone (1,675,000) each to Two Hundred and Twenty Four (224) Wellington Tanker Fire disaster victims.
Yusuf Kamara informed beneficiaries that the cash transfer is going to be done via AfriMoney of which beneficiaries will be provided with Africell Sim Cards and their monies will be sent to those Sim Cards but also said those beneficiaries who want to access their monies during the event were given the opportunity to do so.
He further informed the gathering that they will support 224 victims and that the list victims who will be benefiting from the cash transfer was submitted to them by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) as certified beneficiaries.
Speaking on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, the Senior Planning and Reporting Officer of IFRC, Alhaji Bockarie Abu revealed that when Government made the crystal call to solicit partners’ support in order to support the Wellington Fire Victims the Sierra Leone Red Cross which relates directly with citizens informed the International Federation Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
He said that during disasters the Red Cross has been providing life-saving assistances and ensured that people in need can live with greater resilience and dignity of which he said they will always continue in that direction.
On his part, the Relief and Response Officer at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Michael Lavahun, commended the Sierra Leone Red Cross for their unwavering support they have been giving to Government but especially the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) over the years.
He maintained that over the years the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) was under the Office of the National Security but said His Excellency, the President, Julius Maada Bio, whom out of his wisdom, in trying to deal with disaster management issues in the country decided to establish the Agency as a stand-alone entity in order to support such disasters in the country which he said they have been doing since inception.
Michael Lavahun also went further to inform the gathering that when the Wellington Fire Disaster took place Government convened a meeting with all partner organizations of which the Sierra Leone Red Cross happens to be one of those organizations in order to solicit support from them to support the victims.
The Relief and Response Officer encouraged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity and also pleaded with those who were not selected to be calm as there are many other gestures in the offing.
Jacob Kamara, one of the beneficiaries, applauded the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society for considering them during this crucial moment in their lives, adding that the fire disaster brought them nothing but suffering and tears but said with such a support it will help in alleviating their plights.
Climaxing the event was the symbolic handing over the of Sim Cards which contain the said amount of the victims by the Relief and Response Officer at the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Michael Lavahun and the Director of Resource Mobilization and Communications at the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Yusuf Kamara.